Tag Archives: RopeCon

Second Doppelmayr RopeCon goes live at Northam’s Booysendal mine

The second Doppelmayr RopeCon® system at Northam Platinum’s Booysendal platinum mine in South Africa has gone live, helping transport approximately 400 t/h of mined material over a distance of 2.8 km and a difference in elevation of -160 m.

A RopeCon system has been transporting platinum ore at Booysendal since the end of 2018, with this first installation transporting some 909 t/h of material over a circa-4.8 km distance through hilly terrain.

In December 2021, the second installation at Booysendal North was handed over to the customer.

The Booysendal North RopeCon discharges the material into the same silo from which the material is loaded onto the Booysendal South system, which makes it a perfect link in a continuous conveying line, Doppelmayr explained. Since early 2022, the second loading point along the line has been in use, too. The option of an alternative loading point was provided at tower 2. A conventional feeder conveyor transports the material to the RopeCon line where it is loaded directly onto the belt via a chute.

RopeCon, developed by Doppelmayr, offers the advantages of a ropeway and combines them with the properties of a conventional belt conveyor, according to the company. It essentially consists of a flat belt with corrugated side walls: just as on conventional belt conveyors, the belt performs the haulage function. It is driven and deflected by a drum in the head or tail station and fixed to axles arranged at regular intervals to carry it. The axles are fitted with plastic running wheels which run on fixed anchored track ropes and guide the belt. The track ropes are elevated off the ground on tower structures.

“By using the RopeCon system, the customer did not have to rely on trucks to transport the material, a definite advantage in this topographically challenging terrain with its sometimes very steep roads,” the company said. “Furthermore, using the roads only for the transport of people and supplies will have a positive effect on road maintenance costs.”

Booysendal was also particularly careful to choose a transport system that would minimise the environmental footprint of the mine. By guiding the RopeCon over towers, the space required on the ground is reduced to a minimum, or more precisely to the tower locations. At the same time, the system does not represent an insurmountable obstacle for wildlife or humans. The track crosses a number of roads, and even wildlife can roam freely underneath the RopeCon, according to Doppelmayr.

Greenland Resources makes plans to employ Doppelmayr RopeCon at Malmbjerg moly project

Greenland Resources Inc is taking a different tack to mine haulage at its Malmbjerg molybdenum project in Greenland, laying out plans in a feasibility study to use a Doppelmayr RopeCon® aerial conveyor to transport ore to the concentrator.

In a definitive feasibility study that outlined a 20-year open pit mine life with annual life of mine production of 24.1 MIb of molybdenum, Dr Ruben Shiffman, Executive Chairman, said the company had chosen to “prioritise the environment over capital expenditure”.

In addition to the planned use of a Doppelmayr rope conveyor over cheaper and less environmentally friendly diesel haul trucks – which would save the company over $80 million in capital expenditure, according to Shiffman – the company also planned to use salt water as process water in its process plant, with very low reagent concentrations to mitigate any potential environmental contamination.

The Malmbjerg project comprises of a conventional open-pit mine producing 35,000 t/d of molybdenum-rich ore for processing in a conventional base metal sulphide concentrator. The mine plan equipment fleet consists of two 34 cu.m hydraulic shovels loading 13 x 230 t haul trucks operating on 12 m benches.

The operational mining plan will utilise an economic grade control system where higher value ore will be separated and transported to the concentrator while the lower value ore will be stockpiled and processed at the end of conventional mining.

Waste rock will be stored on the west side of the deposit and used for haul road and construction activities at the mine site.

Current mining reserves dictate a mine life of 20 years where the concentrator will be fed directly from the open pit for a period of 11 years and stockpiled ore will be processed for the remaining nine years.

Ore produced from the open pit will be transported to the primary crusher and loaded onto the Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH ropeway aerial conveyor for transportation to the concentrator located 21.7 km northeast of the open pit on tidewater.

“The ropeway aerial conveyor is similar to historic ore tramline systems that are employed in challenging topography where ore surface transportation systems are not topographically and economically favourable,” Greenland Resources said. “The ropeway is expected to generate electrical power for the mine site during the life of the operation.”

The ropeway aerial conveyor discharges ore into a 35,000 t “live” stockpile at the concentrator for processing. The concentrator is of a modular design constructed on barges and transported from an overseas shipyard to the project site where the barges will be permanently located in a dedicated beach location. The 35,000 t/d concentrator modular design was selected based on the economics of offsite construction and reduced concentrate production commission time.

The life of mine average mill feed grade is 0.176% MoS2 at an estimated recovery of 84.6% MoS2.

The concentrator comprises two SAG circuits feeding a conventional multi-stage flotation circuit to produce a molybdenite-rich concentrate. Due to the four-to-six-month ice-free shipping season, concentrate will be inventoried in containers on site during the non-shipping period and shipped to end users when the shipping season commences.

The estimated initial capital for the project is $820 million with $194.4 million of this being set aside for the rope conveyor.

 

Doppelmayr overcomes backfill hurdles at UK quarry with RopeCon system

A Doppelmayr RopeCon® system is to help Aggregate Industries with an innovative backfill solution at its Bardon Hill quarry, in Leicestershire, England.

Aggregate Industries has recently developed a new quarry extension at this strategically important site, one of the UK’s oldest continuously operated quarries, extending mineral production for a further 27 years, according to Doppelmayr.

During the initial 14 years of production, over 12 Mcu.m of overburden must be progressively extracted. This will be processed and conveyed for emplacement within the existing exhausted quarry to a depth of 125 m.

A road haulage solution was not permitted due to the generation of considerable CO2 emissions, while a conventional conveyor system would have been very costly due to the length and number of transfer points required to navigate the existing quarry haul roads, according to Doppelmayr.

“An innovative and sustainable solution was therefore required to minimise the impact upon local residents, wildlife and the environment,” it said.

Other operational constraints included the requirement to minimise the drop height from material discharged into the quarry and to allow continuous operation of the delivery conveyor without compromising the use of heavy mobile equipment to handle and place the delivered overburden.

To address these complex requirements of Aggregate Industries, Austria-based Doppelmayr has developed a novel solution for the backfill system. The proven RopeCon system, a combination of ropeway technology and conventional conveying technology, will span 850 m across the entire pit with track ropes. The belt, which transports the overburden, moves on these steel wire track ropes and the material can be transferred onto a second belt directly in the rope span.

“This creates a second discharge point at a distance of approximately 100 m from the first discharge point,” Doppelmayr said. “Depending on where the material is needed, either the first or the second discharge point can be used.”

To solve the problem of the drop height, a concept has been developed that gradually reduces the sag as the backfill progresses. The drop height can thus be kept below 45 m at all times to minimise the impact from noise and dust during operation of the system, Doppelmayr said.

The contract was signed in March 2019 and the system is due to be operational in December 2020 where it will transport approximately 1,000 t/h of overburden over a distance of 500 m.

Doppelmayr opens up vertical transport options in underground mining

Doppelmayr has turned its RopeCon® system on its head, designing a new vertical material transport concept for the underground mining space called the Vertical Shaft Conveyor.

Unveiling the concept at the AIMEX 2019 event in Sydney, Australia, the company said the Vertical Shaft Conveyor “opens up new material transport options for underground mining and gives the chance to reduce the haul truck fleet and exhaust emissions”.

Doppelmayr has become synonymous with its RopeCon installations at global mine sites across the globe. These innovative continuous conveyors (pictured) can be adapted to uneven terrain, transporting material on a flat belt with corrugated side walls, elevated off the ground on tower structures. Installations include the ELG gold complex in Mexico (Torex Gold) and Booysendal South in South Africa (Northam Platinum).

The Vertical Shaft Conveyor, meanwhile, comes with a vertical lift capability of up to 750 m, a conveying capacity of 2,000 t/h, a maximum lump size of 150 mm and clear shaft diameter requirement of 3.5 m. The company pointed out these specifications are all dependent on the material specifications and operating conditions with, for example, a 700 m vertical lift application coming with a conveying capacity of 700 t/h.

System advantages the company stated included:

  • No access to shaft required – neither for installation nor operation;
  • Maintenance can be carried out in the terminals;
  • Re-use of existing ventilation shaft is possible;
  • Continuous material flow, and;
  • Heat development is reduced with the main drive installed above ground.

The company says: “Maintenance is simple and cost effective, as all moving parts are mounted to the belt and will pass the terminals at regular intervals. Ropes and shaft are inspected by a camera system which is attached to the belt.”

Like a conventional conveyor, the system can be loaded by transfer conveyor or by an ore pass, with the material transported to the surface on a conveyor belt.

“This belt is equipped with side walls and cleats, forming pockets for the material,” Doppelmayr says. Above ground, the material is transferred to another conveyor, another RopeCon installation or discharged onto a stockpile.

The company puts the vertical lift capabilities down to, among other things, the belt being turned after discharge. This sees the entire belt tension deflected via on return drum, with the entire belt width can be used as a bearing surface.

Another reason for the lift capability is the wheel sets run on guiding rails at the loading terminal, which safely guide the belt into the shaft. Ropes in the shaft always guide the belt during operation.

Doppelmayr RopeCon transporting the tonnes at Guatemala cement operation

Doppelmayr Transport Technology has come up with an innovative way to connect Cementos Progreso SA’s crusher with its new San Gabriel cement plant using RopeCon® material transport technology.

The San Gabriel cement plant is located some 35 km northwest of Guatemala City, Guatemala, where Cementos Progreso produces some 2.2 Mt/y of cement for the local market. The limestone needed for the process is mined in a quarry around 200 m lower than the cement plant, with the terrain between the crusher in the quarry and the plant being hilly and wooded and stretching over a distance of 1.58 km.

The company had been planning to build a new cement plant for some time yet, among other things, the project required an innovative solution to transport the limestone and marl from the crusher over the hilly terrain to the processing plant.

By using RopeCon to transport the limestone between the crusher and the processing plant Cementos Progreso is able to cross the terrain in a straight line despite the topographical situation. This means that a gradient of 22° is reached where the terrain is steepest.

Because the RopeCon belt is fitted with axles with running wheels at regular intervals, no additional cleats were required to tackle that gradient.

The system requires no more than four towers over its entire length and, thanks to the long rope spans between the towers, the amount of space required on the ground can be reduced to a minimum.

The need to interfere with vegetation remains limited to a small number of points and the track does not represent an insurmountable obstacle for wildlife or humans, according to Doppelmayr.

The RopeCon installation has now taken up operation. The material is loaded onto RopeCon by a feeder conveyor and unloaded at the unloading station via a housed-in chute. Some 2,100 t/h of limestone and marl is transported to cover the demand for cement production using a 1,680 kW motor operating at a speed of 3.6 m/s.

RopeCon has been developed by Austrian ropeway manufacturer Doppelmayr to offer the benefits of a belt conveyor as well as those of a cable car by “successfully combining what is best in both technologies”, according to the company.

The system is currently in use for a variety of material transport applications and consists of a cross-reinforced continuous flat belt with corrugated side walls driven and deflected by a drum in the head or tail station. The belt is fixed to axles arranged at regular intervals, which support the belt. Running wheels are fitted to either end of the axles. These run on track ropes with fixed anchoring and guide the belt.

The three track rope pairs form the line structure for the system and are elevated off the ground on tower structures. The system, therefore, requires only a minimum of space on the ground and is ideally suited for difficult terrain and to cross obstacles of all kinds.